*After God made the first man*, who He named Adam, He put Adam into a garden in a place away in the east, called Eden. In order that Adam live happily in this garden, God made trees spring from the ground. To make things extra nice for Adam, God made these trees pleasant to look at, and good for food. There was even a river running through the garden, so to provide water for the trees and other plants.
There was, however, a problem-tree in this garden. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God absolutely didn’t want Adam eating from. Just so Adam wouldn’t get ideas about eating from this tree when God wasn’t looking, God told Adam that if he ate from this tree he would certainly die.
Adam felt puzzled and hurt on hearing God say this. However, beneath God’s stern exterior beat a sometimes sympathetic heart, for God didn’t want Adam to feel absolutely alone – as alone as God, Himself had felt before creating the heaven and the earth. So God fashioned a partner for Adam.
God did this by putting Adam into a trance, and, while Adam was sleeping, took one of his ribs and closed the flesh over the place from where He’d taken the rib, so that Adam would be none the wiser on awakening. God then built up this rib and made it into a woman.
God brought her to Adam, who, knowing all along what God had been doing while he was asleep, said on seeing the woman: “This is now the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Neither Adam nor the woman were wearing any clothes. However, neither felt shame when they saw that the other had no clothes.
In the Garden of Eden, there was, in addition to the trees and plants, a snake. The snake was of a crafty disposition, for, one day, when Adam and Eve (the name God gave the woman) were strolling in the garden, the snake slithered up to Eve and asked her, “Is it true that God has forbidden you to eat from any tree in the garden?”
Eve was startled, for she hadn’t expected a snake to be able to talk. Recovering her composure, she told the snake, “We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except for the tree in the middle of the garden; God has forbidden us to eat or to touch the fruit of that; if we do, we shall die.”
“Of course you won’t die” said the snake, “God knows that as soon as you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods knowing both good and evil”. The snake instinctively knew that Eve, as a woman, and thus compulsively a Nosey-Parker, would not resist the temptation to eat from this tree.
As the snake knew she would, Eve took some fruit from the tree and ate it. So good did it taste, that she gave some to Adam, who ate it too. Both started feeling strange, for they became acutely conscious that they had no clothes on, and felt embarrassed. They stitched fig leaves together and made loincloths.
They heard footsteps in the garden. It was God who was taking a walk to enjoy the evening breeze. Adam and Eve hid among the trees. God knew they were somewhere near, for He called out, “Where are you?”
“I heard You in the garden” replied Adam. “I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” said God. “Have you eaten from the tree which I forbade you?”
Adam said, “The woman You gave me for a companion, she gave me the fruit from the tree and I ate it.”
God turned to Eve and said, “What is this you’ve done?”
Eve said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
God was furious. He told the snake that it was now accursed more than all cattle and all wild creatures. It would now have to slither on the ground for the rest of its life, and just eat dust.
Despite delivering Himself of this, God still hadn’t rid Himself of His fury. He told Eve that He would increase her labour and her groaning when she bore children. She would forever be subservient to her husband, Adam, her master.
God turned to Adam and said that because he had eaten from the tree that he had been expressly forbidden to eat from, any ground that he henceforth walked on would be accursed. Adam would have to toil by the sweat of his brow for anything he might eat, which would be mostly thorns and thistles, until the day he returned to the soil as dust.
God then cast out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the entrance to which a cherubim with a flashing sword would guard, to ensure that Adam and Eve didn’t sneak back.
Source: Genesis 2, 3